Accepted Paper:

Citizenship-building in an Italian town: migrants, locals and Victor Turner  
Giovanna Palutan (Università degli Studi di Padova)

Paper short abstract:

The research focuses on migrants' dynamics of political participation and practices of citizenship in an Italian town. Data come from public debates involving representatives both of migrants and local politicians; the analytical framework is Turner's processual dramatic model.

Paper long abstract:

Our paper reflects upon migrant communities' dynamics of participation in the local political arena. Our attention lies particularly on practices of citizenship resulting from public debates which involve representatives of migrants and local politicians alike.

The data come from an ethnographic research carried out in a north eastern Italian town, increasingly subject to immigration processes, in a seven year long range of time. Such prolonged period of fieldwork allowed us to follow the turnover of local political administrations, and the consequent different views regarding the perception and role of migrants in the society. At the same time it allowed us to record the progressive sense of belonging, involvement, and participation of the new town's residents striving for a more inclusive, less juridical meaning of citizenship. In turn, citizenship representations on both sides do not occur in a vacuum, but resent of policies at the national level and of pregnant events in the larger global context.

The data collected are analyzed by means of Victor Turner's processual model of the social drama with an emphasis on the phase of compensation, whose features of narrative, indeterminacy and reflexivity represent a particularly promising key of interpretation.

Panel W029
Anthropology of citizenship(s): comparing conceptions and analysing changes from Europe